I recently had a revelation about filming and gear. It’s easy for us to get caught up with gear lust—always wanting and needing the another piece of equipment. Sure, there are things could always add or help with your production. But don’t let the equipment you don’t have keep you from trying to produce good work. You’ve got to start working with what you’ve got.
This is what I did this week and how I worked with what I had available (Note: Click on the thumbnail image for a look at my setup).
I had a couple interviews this week and I was a one man, one camera outfit. To make it easier, I wanted to have an external monitor set up so I could sit in a spot to better engage with the interviewee while still keeping my eye on what I was recording. I could have complained about not having an HDMI monitor (~$400). Instead, I used a small HDMI cable out of the camera connected to an old DVI computer with an adapter (costs less than $3.00 from Monoprice.com). It accomplished the purpose and I used what I had around.Read More»
Life has been CRAZY the last month so it’s been hard to make time for the blog. But I discovered something that is awesome and worth posting.
Red Giant Software recently released Colorista Free, a free multi platform tool for color correction (I heard about it from Stu Maschwitz—I great guy to follow on twitter, @5tu). It’s basically a repackaging of their original Magic Bullet Colorista 3-way color corrector minus a few features. It’s incredibly easy to use and it’s something that can be used on a Mac or PC with Adobe Premiere Pro, Adobe After Effects, and Final Cut Pro (Mac only).
I used decided to give it a whirl with a little quick personal video I did a week ago with my T2i/550D. I had a shot that I completely messed up my settings (notably, white balance) but wanted to throw into the piece. SO… I fired up Final Cut and compared it’s default 3-way Color Correction plugin with Colorista Free.Read More»
Filmmaking and working with video is one area that I really want to grow in. That’s part of the reason I started this blog: to document my journey and the things I learn along the way. But I want to talk about one of the things that keeps me back.
I suffer from what I call negative self-talk. It manifests itself in different ways, but most often it’s me telling myself “You’re not good enough. You aren’t going to be able to get to the level you want.” And Mr. Negative came out this weekend.Read More»
When I got my Canon T2i/550D, I was really happy with it. Being my first DSLR, I really didn’t know there was anything I was missing. After several projects and a lot of time on the internet, I realized there were a few things that I wasn’t getting with the T2i. First, I wasn’t able to manually dial in the white balance (kinda a big deal). Second, I wasn’t able to select the camera sensor’s native ISO (which has it’s pros & cons).
About a year ago, I read about the Magic Lantern firmware for Canon’s DSLRs. Originally, it was to add functionality to the 5D that Canon left out, like controlling audio levels. Recently, they’ve ported Magic Lantern to the T2i/550D.
I decided to install it and now I can’t imagine not having Magic Lantern. It let’s me dial in my white balance & select whatever ISO I want; it gives me a histogram, false color, peaking, and gain controls in video mode. I LOVE IT! You need to download it and give it a try.
Another feature that I didn’t expect to see was an intervalometer (they let you setup the camera to take photos every X seconds). It’s perfect for doing creating timelapse videos. Anyway, I thought I would have to pay $60 for a remote control for the Canon T2i/550D to do this.
I tested the intervalometer yesterday and this is the product that I came up with.
Yesterday, I received my Glidetrack Shooter HD. The Glidetrack is a simple, portable dolly that you use for camera movements when shooting video. There are quite a few options out there for these slide-type dollies, but I choose Glidetrack because of it’s price point, it’s size (perfect for DSLRs), and from what I had read, their customer service.
First: I ordered this on a Tuesday at 4:00 PM (PST) and the package arrived less than 48 hours later. From the UK. That’s stinking awesome!
Second: I now understand why a lot of people online were saying that you only really need about two feet of length. I ordered the 0.5 meter version and it’s more than long enough for nice, slow moves. Also, if you mount your Glidetrack to a tripod, the shorter version maintains it’s stability better as you go end to end.
Third: It’s going to take a bit of practice to learn how to best use this tool. Below is some test footage I shot last night with my Canon T2i/550D. You’ll have to forgive me for shooting at a higher ISO, but my house just isn’t lit well.
UPDATE: After using the Glidetrack for a bit, I’d recommend getting the plain Glidetrack HD instead of the shooter. I’ve never actually used it in the shooter configuration.
Since we had Sophia we’ve been doing a little project. Every week from the day she was born, we take a picture to show how much she is growing. We put Sophia in a plain white onesie and place her on a different fabric each week. After we get our shot, we photoshop the week onto her onesie.
It’s been a blast to do and fun to really watch her growth. I gotta give a shout out to Young House Love for inspiring this awesome project.Read More»
This week, I’ve been doing just that. Zacuto—a filmmaking accessories company—produces a web series called FilmFellas. The series concept is a dinner table conversation with professionals in the filmmaking industry. The conversations range from business to passions to education. Each episode is somewhere around 10-15 minutes long.
I watched all of cast 4 & 5 this week and started cast 6. And the first episode of cast 6 (episode 25) is a must see. I was inspired by the candid advice about what is important from seasoned professionals. If you have 11 minutes, you gotta stop and watch it.
iTunes Link: FilmFellas Episode 25: Living Your Passions